I’m a general contractor, which means I do everything from layout to framing to finish, which also means that life isn’t always easy. In fact, some days I think my job is always hard…until recently, when I got my hands on a set of Stabila R-Beam levels.
These levels truly make my job easier and more enjoyable.
|The 4-ft. level has a plumb vial at the very top, right where I need it most.|
|The 6-ft. level is a dream for laying out sheathing—you can grab it anywhere along its length.|
The vials on the R-Beam levels are easier to see than on any other level I’ve ever worked with—and using a bubble-vial level is all about seeing. (In the photo below, I’m shimming an outrigger level before checking the plumb cut. Stay tuned for a future TiC article on Framing Prow Gables!)
The bottoms on these new levels are wide and flat, so you can hold them securely against an edge or a cut and know that it’s plumb (or not!).
|In this photo, I’m checking the plumb cut on a prow-cut outrigger.|
|The flat bottom and crisp edges are great for scribing pencil lines on walls or sheathing.|
|The 8-ft. level is excellent for installing siding—with that long, flat bottom edge, you can actually see that the edge of the siding is tight against the level.|
And for setting long sills that have to be perfectly level and straight, nothing beats that long, flat bottom and the crisp edges on an R-Beam level.
Until I got my hands on these tools, I never knew that those rounded, eased edges on my old levels actually made my life harder because I couldn’t instantly see when my work was straight.
|With the crisp edge and flat bottom, I can see in a second if I’m shimming the sill right to the bottom of the level (or not).|
• • •
After a few years in college and too many random jobs to list, Scott discovered carpentry in 1996. He had decided to take a summer position with a remodel contractor in order to pass the time until the next ski season job started. That summer, Scott realized his interests and talents lied in the challenges of home improvement.
He continued to work in the industry for several contractors, performing all facets of wood framing, exterior trim and siding, window and door installation, and even the occasional interior trim package.
In 2006, he formed Scott Wells Construction Company; as a general contractor based in Southern Oregon, his company handles residential remodel work, new construction, and commercial tenant improvement.
When Scott isn’t on the job site or in his office, he can often be found chasing his young children around the yard, or maybe at the local golf course looking for his ball.